Sportswrap: Duke men's basketball defends home court, women's lacrosse stays undefeated

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of Feb. 14-Feb. 20.

Men’s basketball

The ninth-ranked Blue Devils escaped Wake Forest Tuesday 76-74 in a Murphy’s Law basketball game. Trevor Keels returned to the starting lineup; head coach Mike Krzyzewski left at halftime because he was not feeling well; Paolo Banchero scored zero points in the first half; and Mark Williams slammed in a go-ahead putback with less than a second left, only for the Demon Deacons to launch a buzzer-beating full-court heave that very nearly gave Wake Forest the win. However, Duke (23-4, 13-3 in the ACC) ended its week in calmer fashion by getting revenge on Florida State, which earlier handed the Blue Devils one of their few losses. Banchero and Wendell Moore Jr. led Duke to an 88-70 win with 17 and 16 points, respectively, while Joey Baker hit a season-best four threes. This should jumpstart some momentum for the Blue Devils before they have to seek redemption again Wednesday, this time against Virginia on the road. -Sasha Richie

Women’s basketball

It’s hard to find a more disappointing week in recent history for Duke. After not receiving votes in the AP poll for the first time since Nov. 15, the Blue Devils (16-10, 7-9) probably needed to win their next three games, all against teams at or below .500 in conference play, and two more between the season-ender at North Carolina and the ACC tournament. Instead, Duke got walloped by last-place Virginia and limped past third-to-last Clemson. Up next is a game against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday. -Em Adler

Women’s lacrosse

The sixth-ranked Blue Devils wrapped up their stretch of road games with two more this weekend. First up was a Friday afternoon contest at William & Mary in which Duke quickly ran away with the score, coasting to a 23-5 victory. The Blue Devils (4-0) returned to the state of North Carolina for a Sunday afternoon matchup with High Point and, after the first two quarters, Duke led by just two goals. Unfortunately for the Panthers, a 10-goal Blue Devil run through the third and fourth quarters propelled Duke to its fourth straight victory by a score of 22-13. Catriona Barry ended the contest with 11 points, tying Duke's single-game record. The Blue Devils will return to Durham for a Thursday matchup with Wofford.  -Jonathan Browning

Men’s lacrosse

It was a great day in Durham Saturday for No. 7 Duke, which escaped a contentious first quarter to run out to a 19-10 win against No. 11 Denver. Dyson Williams and Brennan O’Neill maintained their remarkable goal-scoring seasons with four apiece–they’re each averaging at least a hat trick per game–while Nakeie Montgomery also got in on the action with three goals. It was a resolute and convincing performance by the Blue Devils (4-1) across the board, who continue their busy early-season slate against No. 17 Delaware Tuesday at home. -Andrew Long


Duke began its venture into the unknown Friday as the season kicked off with a three-game series against Virginia Military Institute. After falling in the first contest of the year 10-5, the Blue Devils (2-1) rallied Saturday and Sunday for 9-1 and 8-7 wins to claim the series and start the season with a winning record. Duke saw a fair amount of talent enter the MLB this past offseason, so the largest questions surround the pitching rotation and filling in the scoring gaps. On the pitching side of things, Marcus Johnson left a lot to be desired in his first career start, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings in the opening game. Luke Fox and Billy Seidl dominated the following day allowing only four runs while striking out 11. Cooper Stinson posted a similar line to Johnson in the closing game, showing the Blue Devil starting rotation is not where it needs to be just yet. Offensively, the team excelled, posting 22 runs on 29 hits across the three days. Duke will see Appalachian State for a single contest at home again Tuesday before going to Baylor for the weekend series. -Alex Jackson


The ninth-ranked Blue Devils traveled south to Gainesville, Fla., for the T-Mobile Tournament, at which they gained another four wins and dropped a game 9-3 to the host, No. 6 Florida. The offense came out to play after Friday’s sluggish start, as sophomore Claire Davidson launched her first career home run—a grand slam—to cap off the first run-rule win against Florida A&M. The Blue Devils (8-2) were able to put the loss further behind them as star freshman Ana Gold and catcher Taylor Krapf each hit four-baggers in blowout wins to send Duke back home on a three-game winning streak for a date with Elon Wednesday before hosting the Duke Invitational over the weekend. -Micah Hurewitz

Swimming & diving

Duke finished a phenomenal ACC Championship this weekend in Atlanta. The Blue Devils turned in some exceptionally quick individual times—including seven school records—to cap off two impressive team finishes: for the men, 10th place, and for the women, fifth, the latter of which is tied for their best finish in the past 40 years. Leading the way for the Blue Devils were Sarah Foley, who set three individual school records this postseason on her way to two second-place finishes—both behind Olympian Alex Walsh—and Margo O’Meara, who was named diving MVP of the meet due to her two individual victories. Duke now looks forward to the NCAA championships in March, where swimmers may still be able to qualify for at the UNC Last Chance meets the next two weekends in Chapel Hill. -Babu Chatterjee

Men’s tennis

Duke traveled to Illinois Saturday and defeated the Fighting Illini 4-2. The Blue Devils (5-3) had struggled to win in doubles in their last four matches, dropping four straight doubles points, but finally achieved victory in doubles against Illinois to go up 1-0 heading into singles play. Andrew Dale, Garrett Johns and Edu Guell all won their singles matches to bring home the dual match victory for the Blue Devils. Duke continues its season with a Saturday doubleheader against Coastal Carolina and Campbell before it begins ACC play March 4 versus Virginia.  -Robert Miron 

Track & field

With the indoor regular season coming to a close, the Blue Devils traveled to the DMR Invitational and Virginia Tech Challenge in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Blacksburg, Va., respectively. The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly Beau Allen’s victory in the Virginia Tech Challenge men’s high jump, with the California native reaching 2.08m to barely edge out Jacob Kelly of Virginia. Allen’s expertise in that event is no secret, especially considering that this marks his third first-place finish since December. Add in the combined time of 9:38.62 via Nick Dahl, Alex Schwedt, Carter Dillon and Jackson Walker in the men’s DMR, and director Shawn Wilbourn is likely pleased with how his program performed. There’s no time to bask in the past, though, as the ACC Indoor Championships, hosted by Virginia Tech, start this Thursday. -Max Rego


Duke closed out its regular season Friday with a 29-12 loss to No. 23 Pittsburgh. In their senior night hosted at Cameron Indoor Stadium, twin redshirt seniors Josh and Matt Finesilver both took down their Panther opponents. Josh finished with a 12-3 major decision on Dan Mancini in the 149-weight bracket and Matt settled a 15-0 technical fall against Hunter Kernan in the 174-weight bracket. The third Blue Devil to clinch a victory was junior Jonah Niesenbaum, who had a 3-2 decision against Pittsburgh's Jake Slinger. Duke will take a two-week break before it gets to compete again at the ACC Championships in Charlottesville, Va. -Ana Young


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